Convincing Two Art Dealers: 11:11–The Depth of Perception

Fountain Street Gallery’s artist reception for its national juried show, 11:11–The Depth of Perception, featuring work by thirty-eight artists who utilize an array of media including paint, fibers, video, and photography, is Friday, January 4th from 6-8PM.

11:11–The Depth of Perception explores the concept of taking notice. For many this action represents a single moment in time that encourages reflection and to focus one’s attention on the present. It can be viewed as the link between human and spirit; darkness and light; scarcity and abundance.

Our jurors Karina Kelley & Bill Stelling from Kelley Stelling Contemporary in New Hampshire share their thoughts and experience as they chose the work for this exhibition.

Jurors Karina Kelley & Bill Stelling, Kelley Stelling Contemporary



If you’re in this show, you’re ahead of the game: you’ve convinced two art dealers.

What do you see when you close your eyes? As gallerists, our visual world is saturated with images, the work of hundreds (possibly thousands) of artists, each perceiving the world in a unique way. We receive this information by directly viewing it, seeing an image on social media, and more rarely these days, in a book or magazine.

For this show, we looked at over 500 images, and selected around 40. After that, we closed our eyes. We couldn’t look anymore. If we missed your latent genius, accept our apologies. Like a job interview, we made up our minds about you after 3 seconds. This is why artists hate gallerists. On the flip side, gallerists are incredibly brave people. We remain eternal optimists, viscerally recognizing genius, and hoping others will get it too.

Our take on this show is that all art is ultimately introspective, with the goal of expressing the artist's vision to its intended (and sometimes unintended) audience. Whether this produces art that is political like John Buron’s video “Toothpaste Americano”, or something more ethereal and contemplative like Laura Radwell’s “Umbra”, does not negate the relevance of either. We chose work that is diverse, sometimes inscrutable, and speaks to the viewer in fresh, challenging ways.

Thanks to Fountain Street Gallery for giving us the opportunity to meet you through your work.

Kelley Stelling Contemporary
is a gallery dedicated to the presentation of works by emerging and mid-career artists in 2D and 3D formats. Drawing upon the deep pool of talent both in New England and the wider art world, the gallery is a locus for dialogue about art’s place in the community, and the need to nurture, educate and expose its possibilities to a broad mix of artists, collectors and art lovers. Based in downtown Manchester, Kelley Stelling Contemporary provides a much needed venue for an underserved audience. As part of downtown’s revival, Kelley Stelling Contemporary collaborates with area businesses and art institutions such as the Currier Museum of Art and the NH Institute of Art to expose residents and visitors to the rich cultural offerings of Manchester.

Karina Kelley has a degree in fine arts and art history. In 2017, she chaired the Currier Museum’s “Heart of the Arts” Gala, which attracted important members of the arts and business community, and raised a significant sum for art education. Karina previously served as Vice President for the Kimball Jenkins School of Art’s Board of Directors, and as a committee member for the NH Institute of Art Annual Gala. She serves as an Advisory Council member for the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA). She was a recipient of the Union Leader’s “40 Under Forty” 2018 award as one of the state’s brightest young achievers with a record of professional and volunteer accomplishments in New Hampshire.

Bill Stelling brings extensive gallery experience to Kelley Stelling Contemporary. He founded the Fun Gallery in New York City in the early 1980s with Patti Astor. The gallery was an early showcase for the careers of Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring, among many other notable artists. He maintains strong contacts with contemporary artists and galleries in New York. In New Hampshire, he was one of the founders of ArtFront NH, a pop-up art and performance event in Manchester that drew over 500 people downtown. Bill also sits on the NH State Council for the Arts and the Manchester Cultural Coalition, is vice-chair of the Currier Museum Advisory Council and and is a board member of the American Furniture Masters Institute.